This week, hot-button issues dominated headlines in state capitals around the country. Such issues include legislation related to abortion, transgender youth, third parties funding election operations, and gas tax rebates.
Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation this week making Alabama the third state in the country to pas a restriction on gender-affirming care for minors.
Lawmakers on the Colorado House Judiciary Committee this week amended legislation focused on fighting the fentanyl problem to make it a felony for someone to knowingly possess 1 gram or more of fentanyl or any compound containing fentanyl.
Earlier this week, Governor Tate Reeves signed the “Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi Act,” which will direct hundreds of millions in federal dollars to expand broadband internet access across the state.
Governor Glenn Youngkin and state democrats are debating on how to deal with rising gas costs in Virginia – Youngkin wants to pause the state’s gas tax while the democrats want to send money directly to drivers.
In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear (D) has vetoed nearly 30 bills this year, plus four additional line-item vetoes. Of those vetoed bills, the Republican-controlled legislature has overridden four of them. Last year, Governor Beshear vetoed 31 bills, and lawmakers overrode 28.
Over the last few years, there has been much discussion around student loans and the possibility of broad student loan forgiveness, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted in our previous student loan forgiveness update, one of former President Donald Trump’s last acts before leaving office was to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through January 31, 2021. One of President Joe Biden’s first acts upon taking office was to extend that pause even further.
Capital and Capitol Happenings: Staff on the Move, Promotions, and More
Jonathan Leeman: new Director of Federal Government Relations, Equifax
Chris Tosto: new Director of Strategic Services, OneClickPolitics
Jennifer Creasey: new Assistant Vice President External and State Relations, University of Illinois System
Laurie Holmes: new Federal Policy Director, CALSTART
Happy Birthdays This Week
Alexandria Paolozzi: Director of Government Affairs, CUFI Action Fund
Chrissy Buteas: Chief Government Affairs Officer, New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA)
Dana Brooks: President and CEO, Pet Food Institute
Patrick Henderson: Government Affairs, Marcellus Shale Coalition
Garrett McGuire: Regional Director of External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T
Jonathan Atwood: Chief of Staff and External Affairs, South Jersey Port Corporation
Scott Peyton: State Director (Louisiana and Mississippi), Right on Crime